All Wheel Drive AWD 71 Buick Skylark

Discussion in 'Members Rides' started by Brent, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    For quite a few years a good friend and I have talked about building an AWD older car. Those of you my age will remember GMC Syclones and Typhoons and the Summit racing built Quadra Duece. All impressive cars, now a days I have driven 3 and 5 series BMWs with AWD, Subaru STIs, Dodge Chargers and Magnum Wagon SRTs, etc. All handle remarkably well with the AWD and have power. Well what about an all wheel drive musclecar? Of course it would have to be a Buick. I searched the internet to find info on this and found very little so my wife said I should post all this to help others do it later. I have been gathering parts for about a year and started about a month ago. Here is the basic idea, 1971 skylark, gm s10 pick up front frame, suspension, diff, driveaxles, and steering, 455, th400, BW 4476 AWD transfer case, corvette brakes, etc. and a lot of work. Graft the s10 front frame section onto the Buick frame, use coil overs and adjustable upper control arms to get lots of caster. Use the original rear axle and suspension, but box the frame. Mild 455, not a drag car this is for corners, a th400 and a BW 4476 AWD transfer case. This case is used in Olds Bravadas, AWD Astro vans, and in the GMC Typoons and Syclones. Hope I can make it all work. Here are pics of the car with the wheels I will use and the front stripped down ready to totally commit.
    Thanks
    Brent
     

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  2. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Here is a pic of the 2 full pages of measurements I took before cutting. I spent about 2 hours getting the car dead level in the garage so all measurements can be taken off the floor and other fixed points. This is also my son helping me cut the Buick frame off, guess I am committed now.
     

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  3. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Here are some shots of the s10 frame section under the car, now I just need to cut and weld till it all fits together. By the way I built a jig to measure the wheel base and it was 112 1/8, not bad GM.
     

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  4. Taulbee2277

    Taulbee2277 Silver Level contributor

    Brent, you are a mad man and I love it. Keep up the good work. :beer:
     
  5. Gallagher

    Gallagher Founders Club Member

    "Honey, take me for a spin."
     
  6. DauntlessSB92

    DauntlessSB92 Addicted to Buick

  7. 70skylark350

    70skylark350 Well-Known Member

    wow, cool idea, I dig it. My first thoughts were that you must have an awesome wife and an excess of time and money....lol.

    second thought was will the S10 components handle the big block output?
     
  8. garybuick

    garybuick Time Traveler

    I will be watching this thread closely. Very interesting.
     
  9. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    The only real stuff I found on line was that Chevelle posted above, he is in France and built his own front frame with Typhoon parts. We can't let guys in France build better American musclecars than us can we?:) The other is a G body early 80s Olds with a turbo LS. Yes it is questionable if the S10 parts will hold up, that being said guys are running over 800 horse LS motors in Typhoons with the same front end and transfer case. After that power level they are going to billet HD parts but still using that transfer case. I think that if it was a drag car the parts would break eventually, but since its for handling and corners I think it will be OK. At least I will keep telling myself that. lol. Yes I have an awesome wife, no I don't have a lot of excess money or time. I may even sell my 72 Sportwagon to fund this deal. Anyone want to buy it?
    Thanks
    Brent
     
  10. 1972Mach1

    1972Mach1 Just some guy.....

    Very cool! This has always been in the back of my mind, too, but I was going to do a wagon as an everyday driver. There's a non-running Syclone on the craigslist here, but the guy thinks it's worth $15k as it sits.....I will definitely be watching you build this one. I see you've got a Cummins powered Skylark, is there a build thread or pics of that?
     
  11. Mike B in SC

    Mike B in SC Well-Known Member

    There is an AWD '66/'67 Impala that shows up at some of the local cruise-ins. I believe it has the drivetrain (including LS motor) from a late-model AWD Tahoe. Somewhere I have some pictures of it. I'll look for them when I get home from work.
     
  12. garybuick

    garybuick Time Traveler

    I would like to see that.
     
  13. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    It's here in members rides, search Cummins and it will show up.
    Thanks
    Brent
     
  14. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Here is some of the latest work. We bolted the fenders on and set the frame in place to mock up the position with the ride height where I want it. The frame is off a couple inches in height and about an inch in width on each side. Next we cut, notched, and added material to get all the angles right or at least close. We measured things a hundred times for wheel base, center, side to side, etc, my son kept asking if we need to measure so much. Don't mock the welds, it's just to hold it in place. I will weld it properly and then plate the whole thing.
    Thanks
    Brent
     

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    Julian and docgsx like this.
  15. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

    Thank You for sharing the build with all of us. That is going to be sweet!
     
  16. racenu

    racenu Well-Known Member

    very cool, keep em coming. thread sponsored by Hobart:laugh:
     
    TorqueMonster1 likes this.
  17. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    We finished welding the frames together and cleaned it all up. This is just to hold it for now, a good buddy of mine has a CNC plasma cutter and is making some plates so I can box the whole thing in. That should make it plenty strong. I have done my best to make the frame flow together and look like it came that way. You can also see some of the "left overs".
    Thanks
    Brent
     

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  18. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Here we have started to rig up the front frame horns. These are used the same as stock, to hold the core support and the bumper. Man there is a lot of measuring doing this kind of work. This has proved to be rather difficult because nothing lined up at all, it was wider, further back, and higher than the s10 frame. Had to graft it in and box it up to make it fit. There are also alot of things to consider, like access holes for the steering box and idler arm bolts, access for bumper bolts, etc. Next I need to mock up the core support and fenders to be sure all the measurements were correct. After that we can finish boxing and welding it all together. I think I will start fitting the engine and trans after that's done.
    Thanks
    Brent
     

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  19. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    Those last pics were from a week ago. Here is what we did today. We mocked up the core support, fenders, and bumper. It pays off to take lots of measurements, everything fit perfect. I was actually pretty surprised it fit that well. I was worried about the steering box clearing the core support but it worked out well.
     

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    docgsx likes this.
  20. Brent

    Brent Well-Known Member

    After we mocked it all up we boxed in, welded, and cleaned up the frame horns. Check out my kids welds, he is 13 and I think by the time this project is over he will weld better than me.
     

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    Julian likes this.

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